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My husband and I had cruised once before, with another cruise line, on a big ship similar to the Epic. We wanted to give Norwegian a shot just to make sure we weren't missing anything. Embarkation was very smooth (as was disembarkation-no problems either time), but I was already a bit put off that I couldn't reserve everything (e.g. boat tour, some entertainment) ahead of time online, so we had to waste our time onboard the first day booking things instead of getting in the pool. The good: we got a thermal spa pass for the week and it was a WONDERFUL place to relax away from the crowds. Heated pool, saunas, steam room, peace and quiet! There was one super friendly woman who worked at the buffet spraying hand sanitizer (the "washy-washy, happy-happy!" lady) who was always upbeat and smiling. "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" was an awesome show! The food in the specialty restaurants was really great, especially the Brazilian steakhouse and the Japanese steakhouse. The fitness center was pretty nice, too. The bad (pretty much everything else) : While we did NOT care for the cabin layout with the weird bathroom (as you will read over and over again in reviews) our main complaint was that the staff seemed very disinterested in general. Service was quite slow in all of the bars and was very inconsistent in most of the restaurants (specialty restaurant staff was better, but not great, overall). Staff throughout the ship (outside of our cabin steward and spa staff) were not friendly. People rarely had smiles on their faces, were abrupt when asked questions and in general did not seem to want to be there. We frequently commented to each other that we felt like a burden to the staff (and in general we are quiet, easy to please people who honestly don't ask for anything out of the ordinary). There was no attention to detail. People forgot to take your orders, didn't consistently bring bread or other small items like that at restaurants. We saw a band-aid by a stairwell for three days that no one every picked up. (I might have picked up a stray piece of paper for good karma, but not someone's used band-aid!!) We REALLY didn't like being forced to walk through the smoky casino to get anywhere. That was not our experience with the other cruise line we were on. The bars all just felt like they were part of one big corridor, and didn't really have their own identities, so everything seemed loud and busy, not cozy and personal. Food in the main dining room was mediocre in general. I don't think that I finished any of the meals (or even desserts) I was served. Even you if you had a tender "reservation" you had to wait in line for 30 minutes to an hour, and since no one ever actually checked your tender ticket or reservation time, making the effort to get a reservation was completely worthless. There are more things little things that we didn't care for, but honestly with all these other negatives I don't know that they're worth mentioning. It was really disappointing, seeing how we had enjoyed our first cruise so much and had spent so much money on this one. We will not cruise with Norwegian (on any ship) again.

Disappointing overall

Norwegian Epic Cruise Review by ncnurse12

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: February 2019
  • Destination: Eastern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Spa Mini-Suite with Balcony
My husband and I had cruised once before, with another cruise line, on a big ship similar to the Epic. We wanted to give Norwegian a shot just to make sure we weren't missing anything. Embarkation was very smooth (as was disembarkation-no problems either time), but I was already a bit put off that I couldn't reserve everything (e.g. boat tour, some entertainment) ahead of time online, so we had to waste our time onboard the first day booking things instead of getting in the pool.

The good: we got a thermal spa pass for the week and it was a WONDERFUL place to relax away from the crowds. Heated pool, saunas, steam room, peace and quiet! There was one super friendly woman who worked at the buffet spraying hand sanitizer (the "washy-washy, happy-happy!" lady) who was always upbeat and smiling. "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" was an awesome show! The food in the specialty restaurants was really great, especially the Brazilian steakhouse and the Japanese steakhouse. The fitness center was pretty nice, too.

The bad (pretty much everything else) :

While we did NOT care for the cabin layout with the weird bathroom (as you will read over and over again in reviews) our main complaint was that the staff seemed very disinterested in general. Service was quite slow in all of the bars and was very inconsistent in most of the restaurants (specialty restaurant staff was better, but not great, overall). Staff throughout the ship (outside of our cabin steward and spa staff) were not friendly. People rarely had smiles on their faces, were abrupt when asked questions and in general did not seem to want to be there. We frequently commented to each other that we felt like a burden to the staff (and in general we are quiet, easy to please people who honestly don't ask for anything out of the ordinary).

There was no attention to detail. People forgot to take your orders, didn't consistently bring bread or other small items like that at restaurants. We saw a band-aid by a stairwell for three days that no one every picked up. (I might have picked up a stray piece of paper for good karma, but not someone's used band-aid!!)

We REALLY didn't like being forced to walk through the smoky casino to get anywhere. That was not our experience with the other cruise line we were on.

The bars all just felt like they were part of one big corridor, and didn't really have their own identities, so everything seemed loud and busy, not cozy and personal.

Food in the main dining room was mediocre in general. I don't think that I finished any of the meals (or even desserts) I was served.

Even you if you had a tender "reservation" you had to wait in line for 30 minutes to an hour, and since no one ever actually checked your tender ticket or reservation time, making the effort to get a reservation was completely worthless.

There are more things little things that we didn't care for, but honestly with all these other negatives I don't know that they're worth mentioning. It was really disappointing, seeing how we had enjoyed our first cruise so much and had spent so much money on this one. We will not cruise with Norwegian (on any ship) again.
ncnurse12’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
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Cabin Review

Spa Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin M9 14169
The cabin was spacious with a nice-sized balcony and a quite comfortable bed. It was quiet enough, even being near an entryway (I think it helped that it was right off of the spa area.) I didn't think that the weird bathroom with just a frosted door for the toilet (and a privacy curtain) would bother me, since I was travelling with my husband, but we found that it made us both very uncomfortable. For this reason alone I would never cruise on this ship again.
Deck 14 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins